New York City of the ’70s and ’80s was notoriously rough—a hard, bitter apple. The city was rundown; poverty and crime were widespread. But that environment fostered an incredible creativity. Some of the world’s most celebrated art and music originated at that time and place. Skateboarding, born in California, took on a distinct edge when it caught on on the East Coast. And though today’s New York has been polished into a glistening metropolis, traces of a grimy yet inventive Old New York remain.
Javier Nunez, Akira of AM New York, and NA of Deadline have all built careers off of their deep roots in New York City skate culture. Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn staples, they’ve seen the city change over the last three decades.